VAT refund for tourists in place
Tourists to Bahrain will be offered VAT refunds through a VAT refund desk at the Bahrain International Airport. This comes as the Kingdom’s National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) announced the launch of a VAT refund desk at the Bahrain International Airport yesterday. The set up is in collaboration between the Bahrain Airport Company and international payment specialist Planet Payment. The NBR stated that the new desk will offer VAT refund solutions for tourists and non-residents visiting the Kingdom as well as citizens residing abroad. “The VAT refund desk uses an integrated system that allows VAT refund claims on local purchases from over 300 retail outlets across the Kingdom,” the NBR stated.
“The VAT refund desk represents one of many measures the Kingdom is implementing to expand regional and international tourist base, while increasing market competitiveness and expanding growth across Bahrain’s established tourism sector,” it added. Chief Commercial Officer of the Bahrain Airport Company, Ayman Zainal said, “The BAC is pleased to support the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the National Bureau for Revenue in Bahrain with this important function. Two dedicated stands will be set up at the airport, where tourists can avail hassle-free VAT refunds on their shopping.” The Country Manager of Planet Payment, Eyad Al Kourdi, commented, saying, “Planet is proud to be working closely with the National Bureau for Revenue and the Bahrain Airport Company to deliver a fast, efficient and state-ofthe-art digital VAT refund scheme as the Kingdom’s tourism and retail sectors continue to grow and attract shoppers from across the world.” The NBR explained the VAT refund process stating, “Claimers are required to present their passports, entry visa permits, GCC National IDs, or residency permits for Bahraini nationals living abroad, when shopping VAT free”.
“Claimers need to request VAT free tags, available at retail stores, upon completing their purchase. The tags can be attached to receipts, which will be validated along with purchased goods at the VAT refund desk during check out. Refunds will be paid in cash or via a credit/ debit card account provided by the claimer.” Workshop The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) held another interactive workshop primarily aimed at increasing the VAT awareness of professionals working in the retail and wholesale sectors. The workshop attracted 90 representatives from over 50 companies, and recapped general and technical VAT concepts, including VAT record keeping. Following the workshop, attendees visited the unique interactive demo-centre that provides innovative learning experiences to assist vendors in implementing VAT.
Today’s workshop is a continuation of the series of workshops organised by the NBR to provide an inclusive platform for all stakeholders from the public and private sectors to ensure the smooth registration of companies with an annual supply of BD500,000 to BD5000,000 by June.